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I got a phone call yesterday from a kossack friend of ours who is coordinating GOTV for Democrats in an battleground swing state on the Eastern seaboard.

I asked her, what one piece of advice or request would you make at this point in the game?

Her answer was crystal clear.

Right now, for us to win, what we need is for all of us to walk through the doors at campaign offices across the country and participate in Getting Out the Vote, be it phonebanking, door knocking or even just attending any of the scheduled rallies and special events.

If you're an experienced phone banker or canvasser from '06 or '08, all the better...

My only addition to her advice would be that even if you've never phonebanked or door knocked or participated in a rally, there has never been a better or more important moment to PARTICIPATE in getting out the vote than the next two weeks, and this weekend in particular.

When I was in Omaha, Nebraska working for Scott Kleeb in 2008, Obama won one electoral vote in deep Republican territory and I had a front row seat for how it happened.  It was simple.

People showed up.

At campaign rallies, at volunteer events, at phone banks...and when we showed up, we all got so pumped up and energized from seeing everyone else, that we volunteered even more.

That's how close elections are won.  While people like our friend inside campaign HQ have a plan to win this election, it's up to us to win it by showing up!

And I would add one more thought.


One of my favorite kind of diaries here are the anecdotes.  

In the early days of dailykos, we would always kind of put down the "anecdote diaries" about conversations with random voters and relatives because, as we all know, fun as they are, anecdotes are not polls.

But I would say, after seeing what the Obama campaign did in Omaha NE in 2008, and after working for the last four years in the labor movement, and having seen my fair share of elections, that I disagree somewhat.

Conversations are how close elections are won.

When we phone bank, when we door knock, when we share a cup of coffee at a rally with a neighbor, when we SHOW UP, our interactions with undecided or uncommitted voters are the most powerful tool for Democrats to win this election.

In fact, our willingness to volunteer and to reach out, is the best argument Barack Obama has right now.

Trust me, it makes a difference.

I saw that in Tracy, CA in 2006 on the ground for Jerry McNerney.

I'll never forget standing in the front yard of an undecided male, 40something voter who had previously supported Richard Pombo two weeks before the election and listening to his thoughts as he told us why he was on the fence about the election...and thinking about supporting Jerry McNerney.

Our answers to his questions and our listening to his point of view made an impact, but we made the biggest difference that day by showing up in the first place.

And that's the whole point.  


My friend at campaign headquarters sounded confident, energized and focused.

She will spend the next two weeks in a blur of activity coordinating volunteers and phonebankers.

Our job is simple.

Our job is to SHOW UP and to have the conversations that will help win this election.

See you out there!

Originally posted to kid oakland on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 06:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Volunteering for a Better World.


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